Posts Tagged ‘Leonardo di Caprio’

Shutter Island – Martin Scorsese

This one is filled with spoilers, mixed up, accidentally hidden and crystal-clear spoilers. If you didn’t see the movie and hate spoilers, don’t read it but you should definitely see the movie. If you saw the movie than scroll over the trailer and read if you feel like it. You are more than welcomed to place a comment.

Stuck in the middle of nature, humanity is, absurdly, not in equilibrium but off-balance. Only animals and the gods, if gods exist, are in harmony with the world, their violence and goodness are extreme, never controlled, sublime.

Our brain is the tool that can help us find an equilibrium that won’t hurt us, our surroundings or the others. It is also the tool that can make us perfectly violent. In the same time, our brain is the first to stop us in achieving perfection be it in goodness or in violence.

We don’t use our brain to make our existence truer. Day by day we exhaust it building the scenario in which we’re the good guy – sometimes the victim, sometimes the hero – who always fights for the right cause. All our actions have perfect alibis. Our brain is working overtime on that.

Cinema is one of the many reasons we are all prisoner of our self-absorbed, escapist scenarios. This form of entertainment was the opium of the people throughout the 20th century. The scars of this century were continuously looked after by cinema; healing them and opening them repeatedly.

Cinema offered much stronger illusions, released more powerful violence, feed more effectively the frustrations than any other force that influenced the masses. Because cinema it’s not the judging, finger-pointing church, nor the ruthless economy, nor the humiliating politics. It washes off class-boundaries, moral values and offers everybody a personalized ecstasy pill in the dark. It offers the illusion of freedom in a damp, dark room.

Today, even if one’s not a cinemagoer he or she would still build up the conscience-appeasing scenario resembling to film scenarios of the cinema’s golden era, because the silver screen left a prominent mark on our day-dreaming language.

In the same way cinema abducts us and melts our brain into whatever story we are watching, the scenarios we build up every day to overcome our pettiness, cowardice and harm we inflict on the world, alienate us from our true selves, they alienate us from the truth about our actions. Luckily, like any form of art, cinema learned to offer the opposite too, to expose our weaknesses, to work as a wake-up call.

What does it mean to be true to oneself? Art, religion, secular law, philosophy and even sports talk about freedom, honesty and fair-play. We brag about all this things when we feel mistreated but do we use them effectively in our relationships with our fellow human being?

Freedom is probably the most uttered word in human history, it is the star concept of human kind yet we seem to be most afraid of using it. Because freedom means to choose between those two sublime extremes only animal and gods can reach: pure violence and pure goodness. If we practice the first we’re locked away, if we practice the second we’d probably end up crucified. So what’s a human to do with freedom? What does it mean to be free on a human scale? How do we become free? Once free, can we still be active in society or even alive?

If we are lucky, as the main character in Shutter Island is, we’d have a few people (or experiences, or accidents, or studies) around us who’d conduct on us an intervention at the end of which we’d become self-aware, able to recognize our defense mechanisms, our disgraceful and our honorable traits etc. If we accept the intervention – we’ve already found an honorable trait; courage – we have the chance to free ourselves from our alienating dream, to take a few steps back and have an objective look at ourselves. Now we are free to choose to live without illusions, exposed or we can choose to reenter our cozy, illusionary cage. Either way, we become free to choose.

For us, the “sane” ones, who commit but trivial crimes-that sometimes hurt like torture, sometime feel like murder – what are the choices if we want to have choices? To head for the lighthouse or to stay in society’s ever reshaping cage which will never turn us into perfect lambs, the cage which will only continue to frustrate the lonely wolf within and will always tolerate our numbing scenarios.

Shutter Island is a heartbreaking psychological journey from the illusionary scenario to self-awareness. At the end of it there is freedom to choose between recognizing the harm inflicted on the world or to have a good old-fashioned transorbital lobotomy.

The movie is perfectly built; its architecture has the foundation on one person’s perspective; the music, the surroundings, the cast, the special effects all play along a perfect tune. That one character, whose perspective Scorsese masterly follows, is played by Leonardo di Caprio never off-key.

This escapist story could have not reached its goals in another art form than cinema. A book, a painting, a music score could never conquer our brains as totally as the pervert cinematographic tools do. That’s why Shutter Island is another perfect movie, for it can’t be anything else.

Inception – Christopher Nolan

Para Jorje :*

Here I am writing for the first time about a blockbuster, a major Hollywood production. . I write easier about movies nobody sees. Who can tell you’re writing bullshit?

Why was I feeling superior buying my ticket in the middle of the night? Oh, the European blazé cinemagoer went to see this picture with eyebrows already risen, because… I don’t know why, because I always expect the worst when it comes to movies, ideas, feelings hailed too loudly.

Well, my eyebrows did not change their position for almost an hour. They changed attitude though. I was mesmerized. I was sucked into the story with brains and heart and stomach altogether.
Here is a story developing on multiple layers for multiple levels of understanding, wrapped, of course in an extraordinary setting, visual effects and mad rhythm.

Sounds like any other blockbuster, doesn’t it?

Having multiple levels of understanding we also have multiple levels of perception and this is the recipe for not just another blockbuster.

This movie could have looked any other way, though. They could have done it in black and white, frozen Bergman style, or it could have been western spaghetti style, or teenage vampire story style. The idea of the screenplay would have still nailed you to the chair opening a gap between your life watching this film and your life you left outside the cinema. I have to say, though, the style is perfect, both image and directing, even when events go faster than your capacity to understand what you see. Just like in a dream.

What the f… is the difference between reality and dream? A simple question with a frustration mark. And the answers for it occupy billions of pages written by philosophers gone mad or not. It is much more fun though dealing with the problem in the cinema than reading a heavy book about it. We all know that and I think we all recognize that. Why shouldn’t we treat the simple, impossible, bitchy issues with a thrill and then forget about them, leaving them melting on a white silver screen. We have the feeling for a while as if we have understood, overcome major secrets. Then we know we didn’t because they strike back. Then we run for our next shot of escapism through movies, drugs, books, illusionary feelings.

We have in Inception tones of ideas about dream within a dream and reality and the relation between the two, and how minds can be lost between these two realms.

Cinema once again proves to be closest to life than all art forms and on the same level with a narcotic illusion. And so are dreams.

I said I was fascinated by this story for an hour or so. What happened? It was like being woken up while dreaming. There is short sequence that snapped me out of dreaming this film. I consider it a flaw in the script, but maybe it was an intended slap I needed to wake up and start watching the film. I might have lost my mind otherwise. Yet I guess it was an error, because every step of the story we are informed thoroughly about what and how it is happening, but that sequence is somehow outside the logic of the story. I’ll tell you in private, if you want to, I don’t want to have a spoiler in this article. Anyway it didn’t spoil the fun enjoying the movie.

Inception is about what cinema is about: You dream the dream I want you to dream.

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